As grateful as I was to wake up yesterday and see that it looked like the storm was turning, I was even happier to hear this morning that tropical storm force winds have been removed from the local forecast. Even so, it is hard not to have a heavy heart as we think about the people we know who live on the coast, or in areas who are going to get significant rain in the coming days, or the vacation places we love to visit and fear for right now. Sigh. My thoughts and prayers go out to all, especially our affected Deac families.
We continue to prepare here. You can see our 11 am email to parents and families, with all the campus operation type updates that were sent to students. President Hatch also sent out a message to campus with words of care and reassurance. Hats off to our Benson Center for getting a Movie Marathon together so that our Deacs have some fun indoor entertainment options this weekend.
It occurred to me last night that I probably could have saved folks (including my P’92) some angst by posting a map earlier this week. Television hurricane coverage normally shows the cities where the hurricane is about to hit, plus Raleigh and Charlotte, but Winston-Salem almost never makes that list. And unless you are a geography wonk, it can be hard to look at the TV coverage to know whether you should worry or how much. So here is the pic, and to put it in perspective, it is about a 4-hour drive to Wilmington (depending on traffic). So we are well inland from the coast.
To give you a sense of what the weather is like here…it had cooled off a lot a lot in the morning. There was a light breeze and it is delightful. We’ve had patches of sun today, and other times it is a little cloudy. Towards the end of the day the temperature (and humidity) crept up again. I am working from home today because we are having some work done on our house, and there are times when I can hear the wind whistling on a door frame that doesn’t have a great seal.
We will be running midday emails to parents Friday-Sunday and will keep you informed. Couple things to keep in mind: if students are absent from class, they will need to work with their faculty on an individual basis (as they would at any other time). Obviously, this is an instance where good communication is essential.
In addition, if students choose to go home, they should be considering their plans to get back to campus and make sure they know how to contact their professors in the event they get stranded somewhere hit harder than W-S (or if flights are delayed/backlogged).
PS – I know it has been a tense week for everyone. Lots of North Carolinians have been trying to find something to laugh at even as our beloved coast looks like it will take a beating. Here are a couple of the memes that my North Carolina friends have been posting; the still life is titled “North Carolina Storm Warning.”